I was talking with a potential client the other day about pay-per-click (PPC). After, several discussions on budget, demand and typical PPC topics, he asked me a question that I have heard hundreds of times.
“What kind of traffic increase should I expect to see based on that budget?” That’s the wrong question.
My response is generally the same, “Oh, did you want to increase traffic or revenue?”
I know it may seem obvious in 2011 to say revenue is more important than traffic, but many are still missing it. It happens with many of my new clients. When I take over a paid search campaign on life-support, I often scale down the PPC traffic. In fact, it’s usually my first move.
Why Decrease Traffic?
I have found most PPC heartaches arrive from unwanted traffic. Too many accounts are not well-optimized. Because of this they are bringing in tons of unwanted, paid traffic. This means they are paying for irrelevant clicks and uninterested visitors. The first step is to stop the bleeding.
In many cases, that savings alone has paid for my services. Once the trash is filtered out, then we start expanding. We take the “good” keywords and expand. This takes us from surviving to thriving.
The Right Questions
If, for the sake of argument, we agree that asking about traffic is not the correct question, what is the correct question? To turn the tables on the question, I often ask the client variations of the following:
“What would be a good return-on-ad-spend?”
“What is a new lead worth to you?”
“How much is a paid customer worth?”
These are not questions I can answer. I can give them all sorts of data on traffic, CPC, conversion rates, etc. All very important data. I can also convert that traffic into revenue, but the heart of all this comes down to basic business sense. How much are you willing to spend on a guaranteed customer? How much are you willing to spend on a strong lead?
Whatever that price point is, we can find it with PPC? The value is there. Once you establish that price point, the rest falls into place with pay-per-click.
Pay-per-click is a wonderful marketing channel. However, the right questions are needed to find the right answers.Tags: AdWords, Google, Pay Per Click, PPC
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